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Friday, August 27, 2010


I've been asked a few lately by some who read my blog. I haven't answered any of them.

I rarely answer questions unless I find them annoying, stupid, obvious, or pedantic. Then, of course, I take great delight in speaking my mind, tongue in cheek, and giggling a bit. It's not really answering a question, but rather, taking the opportunity to soapbox a bit in my own corner of the internet.

However, I realized yesterday that it's been more than four years since I began blogging, I've written too many posts for anyone to take time to read, and many have been removed so even if one reads all my archives (that's a bad idea, I promise), there will be large gaps because I took away posts in emotional irrationality, or because I felt some posts revealed too much personal information about someone else and I felt the need to protect that person, or because the posts were just too stupid to be around.

Therefore, I will address one of the questions I've been asked recently, because I believe it's important, if only to me. I'm not going to write the question, only the answer, because that's what I want to do today, and I'm feeling a bit testy about life anyway, so this is as good as it gets:

From my first memory until I left my home at 17, I do not remember a time when my mother was not abusing me physically or emotionally. I understand that many people would never return to their homes or they would limit contact with the abusive parent. That has not been my choice. Instead, I spent some time away from home for about four years. In that time I believe I received four letters from my mother and about six phone calls. I returned home briefly for two months, and again for a weekend when my sister left for her mission. I visited occasionally--only overnight--during the first three years, then moved far away from my family for the next year.

During that separation, I thought about what I wished to do with my relationship with my mother. I also researched her past, visited with her siblings and parents, and contacted some of her high school and college friends to find out more about her from a perspective other than my own. I researched and studied different options available to me as an abuse survivor and  learned ways to deal with abusive people. Finally, Darrin (whom I had married at some point during those four years) and I decided to move near my parents and attend school. There were many reasons for this decision, but one of those was because I had decided to try to develop a new relationship with my mother--one based on friendship rather than kinship--which might allow me to grow past the harm she had done.

We have now lived in that same city for a very long time. I had three children, finished my Master's degree, and started a couple of successful businesses. We live three blocks from my parents and I see them frequently. I have been honest with my mother, but not unkind. We've spoken of my childhood. She has asked forgiveness and admitted her guilt and agony over the things she has done. I have admitted that there were times when I was also unkind and my behavior was not acceptable during my childhood and youth. There has been some forgiveness, but on my part, I'm still working through that. There are after-effects which haunt me still. It's difficult to freely forgive when one is dealing with behavioral disorders brought about as tools for survival in response to abuse. Difficult, but not impossible. In time, I believe I'll be able to let everything go--at least, that is my hope.

In summary, I have learned to love my mother. She is one of my good friends. I don't necessarily trust her, but I think that's understandable. I'm happy to have her in my life, and as a side note: She has been a wonderful grandmother to my children. The times she has treated them in ways I have not approved are rare, and she has consciously tried to consistently show love and kindness, rather than demean or cause pain. I appreciate that. It's difficult to change behaviors. She continues each day trying to improve her methods of dealing with stress and trying to rid herself of habits which destroy people she loves. Our relationship may never be that which I had hoped, but I cannot deny that my mother has done and continues to do all that she can to make amends for past sins. I respect her for that. She has a good heart and I care for her deeply.


  1. Wow, that is an amazing story of reconciliation.

  2. Thank you for sharing that... I'm facing a similar situation in my life right now... Haven't spoken to may parents in a year and a half, and trying to figure out if I want to try and make it work.

  3. Quite Song--It's not done yet, but I'm hopeful. :-)

    Urban Koda--It's a difficult situation when parents and children are estranged. In my case, I was blessed to have a parent who would admit guilt and make changes in her life which convinced me she no longer wished to hurt me and she desperately yearned for any forgiveness I could grant her. I'm not sure my reconciliation could have happened otherwise.

    I wish you well and hope for the best in your situation. I'll be thinking of you.